Brad Pitt is leader of the title gang in 'Inglourious Basterds'To most people who claim Oscar expertise, the nominations announced last week narrowed the field of Best Picture contenders to James Cameron's 'Avatar' and Kathryn Bigelow's 'The Hurt Locker.' But within the film community, Quentin Tarantino's 'Inglourious Basterds' is given at least a dark-horse chance of winning the big prize. And they would tell you that at least half of that dark horse -- the back half -- is Harvey Weinstein.

Weinstein is both executive producer for 'Inglourious Basterds' and co-president of The Weinstein Co., which financed and distributed the movie. Over the last 20 years, he has had enormous success with Oscar campaigns, often getting more nominations for his indie films than major studios were getting for their high-priced blockbusters. His signature success, however, was pushing 'Shakespeare in Love' to the 1998 Best Picture Oscar over months-long prohibitive favorite, Steven Spielberg's 'Saving Private Ryan.'